When should you look to create a will?

Certain things in life can be so uncomfortable that we don’t even want to think about them. However, it’s impossible to escape responsibilities. One of these duties is taking care of the ones we love. This includes ensuring the financial security of our families even in the most challenging moments. That’s why making a will is so important. Discover why creating a will is crucial, the best time to do so, and how to obtain legal support to ensure your wishes are honoured.

Why is making a will important?

Making a will is essential for several reasons. The main one is controlling what happens to your estate after your death. You’ve worked hard to improve your loved ones’ lives; it would be unfair for your resources to end up in the wrong hands.

With a will, you can ensure that your properties, possessions, and money are distributed in a way that you consider fairest. Without a will, your assets will be divided according to the UK’s intestacy rules, which may not align with your wishes.

Moreover, there is the issue of stress. Your death will undoubtedly be a time of great pain for your family who, in addition to mourning, will have to deal with all the bureaucratic issues involved with the passing. Everything can be overwhelming; leaving a legally valid will make this naturally challenging time more manageable. Additionally, a will allows you to specify your funeral wishes.

Unfortunately, family disputes over inheritances are a common and distressing scenario. Without a will to guide the heirs to a peaceful sharing of assets, potential beneficiaries may disagree over who is entitled to what, leading to a legal battle that can even end long-standing friendships.

The strategic crafting of a will is also a strategic measure that can significantly mitigate tax liabilities. Although the act of leaving a will in itself does not directly reduce inheritance tax (IHT), the manner in which assets are allocated can profoundly influence the overall tax burden on the estate.

Finally, by leaving a will, you can appoint an executor. The executor acts as the legal representative of your estate, overseeing the payment of debts and taxes, as well as the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries as specified in your testament. This can prevent misunderstandings and disputes among heirs, promoting a smoother and more harmonious probate process. Additionally, having an executor allows your family to focus on supporting each other instead of dealing with all the legal formalities involved in the process.

When to make your will

Anyone over 18 can make a will and, if they wish, update it from time to time to better reflect their desires and personal circumstances.

Several life milestones are particularly ideal for making a will:

Buying a home: Incorporating your property into your will guarantees its transfer to the individuals you choose, such as a spouse or child. This ensures they can benefit from it.

Marriage or divorce: Without a will, marriage automatically means your estate will be distributed under intestacy rules, which might not align with your personal preferences. On the other hand, while divorce does not invalidate your will, it does alter the treatment of your ex-spouse within it, essentially considering them as if they had passed away before you.

New family members: If new children or grandchildren have arrived in the family, it’s essential to include them in the will. This way, you ensure that they have access to your assets. You can also designate, in the document, who will be the guardians or custodians of your descendants should they be left without both parents.

Starting a new business: You can specify who will take over the company after your death. This is crucial for ensuring business continuity.

Sudden ill health: While unfortunate, it’s not uncommon. Updating your will in such times can provide peace of mind.

Retirement: Retirement brings about a significant lifestyle change. It’s a great time to formalise what happens after your departure.

Do you need to use a solicitor?

Theoretically, it’s possible to make a will on your own, provided you can ensure the document’s authenticity after your death. However, hiring wills solicitors in Liverpool is highly recommended. A specialised lawyer will ensure that the document is correctly drafted and that your assets are distributed in the way you deem best, within the law. This guarantees priceless peace of mind, as your resources and properties will remain in the hands of the most important people to you after your death. With the help of a lawyer, the process of making a will happens in an organised and stress-free manner, safeguarding against future disputes or issues.

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